Sunday, August 31, 2008

September Local Food Events Calendar

September is local food month around here! The book chosen for our "community reads" (One Book One Community) selection is the 100 Mile Diet, and the authors are coming on a speaking tour at the Kitchener Public Library in the middle of the month. For the entire month there seem to be events leading up to and tailing this presentation - here is a list of what we've gathered info on so far (more to be added):


Sept 6
- Film: The Fight for True Farming: Food Autonomy or Agribusiness, 1:30 pm KPL
- Kitchener Farmers Market! 7 am-2 pm. Visit Fertile Ground CSA (end of Market Lane) for organic locally grown produce! See:

Sept 8
- Eating the 100 Mile Diet in Waterloo Region, with Marc Xuereb, Region of Waterloo Public Health Planner, 7 pm at KPL

Sept 13
- Kitchener Farmers Market! 7 am - 2 pm. Visit Fertile Ground CSA (end of Market Lane) for organic locally grown produce! See:
- Preserving the Harvest, with Christy Hoffman (teacher/interpreter Joseph Schneider Haus) and Ken Diplock (Region of Waterloo Public Health Planner), 10 am at KPL
- Film: The Future of Food, 1:30 pm KPL

Sept 17
- 100 Mile Celebrations, with Pam Salisbury, owner of Flourish...fabulous florals, 7 pm at KPL

Sept 18
- 100 Mile Diet author's Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon speak at KPL, 7 pm Doors open at 6:30 pm. Door prizes. Copies of 100 Mile Diet will be available for sale.

Sept 20
- Kitchener Farmers Market! 7 am -2 pm. Visit Fertile Ground CSA (end of Market Lane) for organic locally grown produce! See:
- Film: The Real Dirt on Farmer John, 1:30 pm KPL
- 100 Mile Potluck, hosted by Bailey's Local Foods (for food buying club members). Contact for more details. Bring a dish made with local ingredients.

Sept 21
- Taste Local! Taste Fresh! In Victoria Park, downtown Kitchener, 2-5 pm. Cost $55/person. Call 519-513-8998 for booking tickets. Hosted by Waterloo Region FoodLink.

Sept 22
- Our 100 Mile Region: Abundant and Diverse, with Rolf Thiessen (geography teacher, tour guide) and Warren Stauch (tour guide) ; 7 pm KPL

Sept 24
- Urban Agriculture Presentation, with Karin Kliewer & Greg Roberts of Little City Farm, 7 pm at KPL

Sept 25
- Food Systems conversation. Bring your favourite books, magazines, opinions and recipes to share. At Exhibit Cafe in downtown Kitchener. Contact 519-568-8688 for more details.

Sept 27
- Kitchener Farmers Market! 7 am -2 pm. Visit Fertile Ground CSA (end of Market Lane) for organic locally grown produce! See:
- Intro to Beekeeping Workshop and local honey tasting, with Les Eccles of University of Guelph Beekeeping Lab. 1 pm, hosted by Little City Farm in Kitchener. Cost $20/person. RSVP to
- Film: A Growing Season, 1:30 pm KPL

Sept 28
- 100 Mile Potluck, at Exhibit Cafe in downtown Kitchener, 6-9 pm (last Sunday of each month) Bring a dish made with local ingredients. RSVP or learn more contact Jodi at 519-568-8688.

Sept 30
- Food Systems Analysis Through Film, 6:30 pm at KPL

puffball mushroom delicacy

Our friend Ken, an avid mushroom gatherer, who knows the nooks and crannies of the local woodlots where edible mushrooms grow, dropped a huge puffball mushroom off the other day. We cooked it up just like he advised - dipped in organic free range egg batter and breaded with wholegrain breadcrumbs, then fried in a little oil (he advised butter). He said not to marinade or coat in heavy flavours, as you need to let the delicate taste and texture of the mushroom come through. Very very tasty, and this puffball fed 6 people easily! (the puffball is the large round bread-like looking ball on the left).

Bailey's Local Foods

The past two weeks we've been savouring local organically grown (or low spray/no spray) fruit! It's such an amazing time of year in southern Ontario, when garden produce is at it's peak -- this may well be THE peak week right now -- and not to mention fresh fruit that we access here.

Bailey's Local Foods, a fairly new local buying club offers food from within a "100 mile" radius of Kitchener-Waterloo. This is not your typical buying club (purchasing bulk dried goods, flour and grains from a supplier), but it includes a whole range of seasonal produce from nearby farms, fruit from Niagara and berries closer, as well as organic meats, cheeses, breads, pastries, sauces, jams, salsas, and even handmade pasta made with local organic flour which Vincenzo's is going to prepare specifically for the group. The order options vary each week (based on availability and the season of course) and members can fill out the order by email and send it in to Nina, who coordinates the whole operation from her home in Uptown Waterloo. Orders arrive Fridays, and there is an exciting buzz around the neighbourhood as people wheel up with bike trailers, wagons, carts, etc to pick up their orders. How fortunate to have such dedicated local food advocates like Nina and her dad Wendell (who does much of the driving for Bailey's Local Foods) sourcing out healthful, local food suppliers for us and offering these options in our community.

We've purchased plums, blueberries, peaches and pears and have been canning sauce, freezing, drying, eating and baking with these all week in order to prepare for the winter months.

To contact Nina at Bailey's Local Foods, email:

Beekeeping Workshop Coming on Sept 27

September seems to be local food month around here, and to this subject what better than to offer a workshop on keeping bees and hosting a local honey "tasting"! We're very excited to be have this beekeeping workshop coming up in a few weeks, as there have been many requests from people in our community about a workshop on this topic, in particular learning about keeping bees in cities and how to get started. There is even interest from one person in starting a beekeeping co-op, to share the work and responsibility of care for the bees. Maybe such a project will be able to grow out of this workshop? It took us a while to connect with a good facilitator, but we saw Les give a beekeeping workshop at Hillside Festival last summer and he had everyone inspired by his knowledge and enthusiasm. We look forward to hosting him here at Little City Farm. Here are the details - there's still space to sign up.

Intro to Beekeeping Workshop
Sat, Sept 27 from 1-3 pm

With Leslie Eccles of Eccles Apiaries, and the University of Guelph Beekeeping Lab

- How to get started with your own bees
- Information regarding the recent losses of bee colonies in Ontario
- Local honey tasting
- Honey for sale from Eccles Apiaries

Cost: $20/person
Reservation by SEPT 20 required

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Documenting Strawbale Addition - 2

Haven't had time to write, as this month has been so hectic with baby arrival and all the house renovations going on, not to mention loads of visitors and also abundant garden to take care of! Whew! Luckily (or unluckily) we've had so much rain this year that many parts of the build have been slowed down, and we've ended up getting more "down time" together inside the house. We are hoping for clear skies for the rest of this fall, so that we can get on with the strawbale walls, and then the more important plastering (which needs dry warm weather in order to set properly).

We've had many many volunteers helping out already - thanks to all who've come by for workbees and other project help. We hope to thank you all in a bigger way once the house is done. photos coming soon...

Introducing Maya!

For all of you who have been wondering about our impending birth, we are pleased to announce that our beautiful girl Maya Hazel arrived on July 28 at 5:40 am! We had attended the Hillside Music Festival during the day, and in the end realized that we spent our initial "real" labouring time there amidst the crowds and music stages! No surprise that Maya danced out later that evening. She was born in our home just as the sun was rising, with the assistance of two wonderful midwives. The birth went as smoothly as we could have hoped and it was truly an amazing experience.

Maya is strong and healthy, weighed 6 lb 15 ounces and was 22 inches with long graceful arms, legs, fingers & toes. Mama, Papa and babe are all doing well and Maya is settling in to life on the "farm". She's spending time stretching her bare feet in the sun each day, supervising the harvest of tomatoes, beans & kale, and lingering in the herb garden to smell the flowers. She had her first trip to the farmer's market on Saturday and seemed to enjoy the bustle.

Maya means "winged messanger" and we thought of her as our little honeybee, a keystone element that is vital for our future in terms of pollination of food crops. Hazel is named for the hazelnut tree, native to this part of the country and valued as a prized tree in permaculture gardening. The hazel tree also happens to be the Celtic tree designated for the month of July - very fitting.

Some books on natural birthing that we found helpful during the pregnancy are:

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
Spiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin
The Natural Pregnancy Book, by Aviva Jill Romm
The Birth Partner, by Peggy Simpkin
Hypnobirthing, by Marie Mongan
Birthing From Within
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, by Susun Weed